Great ingredients make for great meals. Whenever you can, use the highest quality supplies for your recipes. The flavor difference will always come through in your finished dish.
If there is an ingredient that you are not familiar with, check our Ingredient section. There are pages and pages of information about the ingredients used in my recipes.
There are three basic types of oranges. The most common are the sweet oranges, such as Navel oranges, Valencias and the blood oranges. For cooking I like to use Navel oranges because they are seedless and are less of a hassle. Valancias are actually the best selling orange in the world and are the primary orange used for juice (although there are terrific for making marinades). I especially like cooking with blood oranges because of the dramatic, rich, beet like color.
The easy peelers, or loose-skin oranges, include the mandarin orange, tangerines and clementines. As the name implies, these oranges are easy to peel and the segments separate without difficulty. The oranges are sweet with a more fragrant aroma than sweet oranges. Orange zest from easy peelers is best because of the more tropical fragrance.
Bitter oranges are not widely available and are used for cooking in marmalades and chutneys. The most famous is the seville orange.
Choosing oranges requires careful assessment. They are graded by the USDA grades as U.S. No. 1 and U.S. Fancy. Fancy oranges are the better choice. Look for firm oranges that feel heavy for their size - they'll have more juice. The color of the orange won't help you much because most are dyed, as they are picked while green.
Keep oranges in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, but as with all fruits and veggies, the older they are, the more vitamins they lose.